No, the Cleveland Guardians aren't trading Josh Naylor

Despite the fact that other teams are interested in Cleveland Guardians first baseman Josh Nayor, there is no way the team is trading him - not this offseason at least.
Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Angels
Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Angels / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

Despite the fact that reports recently surfaced regarding other teams' interest in Cleveland Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor, the fact is, there's no way the team is trading him (this is a topic we also discussed in more detail in the latest episode of the California Penal League podcast, which you can listen to below and catch on both Apple and Spotify).

Of course, there's always a non-zero chance of a move happening, if you count 0.00001% as a chance. I suppose there is always the possibility some other team wants to unload its entire farm system on the Guardians, and in that scenario, sure, Cleveland might be willing to part ways with a rapidly improving player they control for two more seasons.

Like any smart team, the Guardians will listen to any offer another team presents. The Cubs, Pirates, and Mariners have all inquired about the availability of Naylor, and all of those teams have compelling pieces that would no doubt interest Cleveland.

But what exactly do the Guardians stand to gain from trading Naylor? There is perhaps no team worse off offensively right now than the Guardians, and Naylor is their second-best bat behind José Ramírez (and at a cheap rate), so there's really nothing Cleveland can acquire that would help them improve in that department - not for years, anyway.

There's certainly a good reason why teams are interested in Naylor. Aside from his guaranteed two years of control, Naylor broke out in a big way in 2023, slashing .308/.354/.489 with 17 home runs, 31 doubles, 97 RBI, and a 133 OPS+ while garnering MVP notes (though bafflingly still didn't make the All-Star roster).

There is also always the possibility the Guardians extend Naylor. Cleveland has made a habit of extending its young core over the years and Naylor is the perfect candidate for the next big extension, especially if the Guardians can make it happen before his career really takes off and the thought of a new contract enters pipe dream territory. With his younger brother Bo now up at the major-league level, that has to at least mean something as well - right?

Consider it flattering that so many teams want Naylor. Remember, too, that other teams are constantly calling Cleveland about the availability of Ramírez as well. It doesn't mean anything is going to happen.

Again, it never hurts to listen, but Naylor isn't being traded - not this offseason, at least.